Gold Coast Suns superstar Gary Ablett has shocked the Australian sporting community by announcing that he has quit the AFL to chase his dream of becoming a professional FIFA player.
Ablett was ruled out of the rest of the AFL season when he damaged the medial ligament in his left knee during the Suns lost to the Adelaide Crows at the Adelaide Oval last week, but reports have emerged that Ablett had been cleared to play by club doctors but requested leave from the club in order to concentrate on his FIFA career on the PS4.
Ablett’s defection from the AFL did not come as a shock to Collingwood President and Chairman Eddie McGuire who claimed last week that FIFA is a bigger threat to the AFL than any other football code in Australia.
“FIFA and the PlayStation is as big as a threat to AFL football as the game of soccer itself,” McGuire said.
Ablett revealed that he had become addicted to FIFA during his stint away from AFL after having shoulder surgery at the end of last season and he said that he owes it to himself to chase his dream of playing the Playstation Game at the highest level.
“I was just about to become the highest paid player in the AFL,” a teary-eyed Ablett told a packed press conference.
“But I’m a kid from Geelong. My dream was to buy my Dad a dodgy caravan and I did that.
“Everything else is a bonus.
“This isn’t going to be an easy transition.
“Emotion was keeping me in the AFL. I didn’t feel like it was challenging me in the way I’ll now be challenged.”
“I never want to limit myself out there. I want to give myself every opportunity to climb a mountain from the bottom.
“I feel like I’ve done everything in AFL.
Ablett recently competed in the FIFA Fox Fans League final against Scott Pendlebury earlier this year, but he admits that he faces countless hours of gaming before he will have the ability to mix it with the likes of teenage FIFA master Jacob Gaby.
The two-time Brownlow Medallist admitted that no AFL player has ever made a successful transition into the professional FIFA ranks, but he is confident that his superior athleticism and work ethic will help him make the historic leap.
“It’s a huge challenge and I’m excited,” Ablett said.
“It’s been in my heart for so long and that’s why it’s something I have to do.
“I’m under no illusion. It’s going to be tough. I’m risking a lot. Putting a lot on the line. But if there’s no risk, there’s no reward.
“I’m doing something that’s never been done before.”
Ablett is hopeful that he can qualify for the FIFA tournament at the 2016 edition of the World Cyber Games and he believes that he will one day be able to mix it with FIFA stars Keivan Javadi Elyaderani, Tim Schiewe and Juan Francisco Sotullo.